Language cannot occur without the desire to communicate, and the desire to communicate does not exist without a sense of community. I’m not a terribly religious person, but I find echoes of this idea in the words of Christ, who said, “”Where ever two or more are gathered together, I am in your midst.” The Australian songwriter Nick Cave, in his lecture on the nature of the love song, states that Christ says this “because where ever two or more are gathered together there is language. ”
I’ve always striven to create a community in my classrooms. Students who know each other, and have a desire to learn from, and learn with each other. It is only when students have this desire to produce language, that language occurs.
So here are my most recent class. Not reciting grammar rules, although I know a little of those, for when they are needed. Instead, we are imagining real life experiences, and not fearing how our lack of vocabulary will be viewed by others in the room. My class don’t fear the unknown, they have each other. They have community.